West named county superintendent

An emotional Ann West (left) thanks Marion County Board of Education members Beverly Burleson (third from right), Belinda McRae (seated) and Joyce Fowler for voting to appoint her as the new Marion County School System superintendent of education.

HAMILTON - In a unanimous 4-0 vote, Ann West was named superintendent of the Marion County School System during a special-called Marion County Board of Education (MCBOE) meeting on July 31.
“I am honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to be the leader of our school system,” West said after the meeting. “We have a great school system and I want to continue working with our schools, our teachers, and our students to make it the best it can be,” she said.


Big 95.5 radio station wants to move into old Hackleburg Town Hall

Tommy “Hutty” Hutcheson is seen here at the Hackleburg Town Council meeting on Monday, July 23.

HACKLEBURG - Big 95.5 radio station owner Tommy “Hutty” Hutcheson spoke to the Hackleburg town council on July 23 about allowing him to move his radio operations into the old Hackleburg town hall building.
The building, built in 1992, was damaged during the 2011 tornado but was repaired and currently houses a gymnasium and serves as a polling location. Hutcheson made a request to move his operations into the unused office space in the building.

Main Street to open new museum

Winfield’s Main Street program told the city council on Tuesday, July 17, that it intends to purchase the old Citizens Bank building to open a museum. Main Street Treasurer and Pastime Theatre Chairperson Mary Hyche is pictured presenting the idea to the council.

WINFIELD - The Main Street program plans to purchase the old Citizens Bank building near the Pastime Theatre to house a museum.
Pastime Theatre Board Chairperson and Main Street Program Treasurer Mary Hyche asked the Winfield City Council if the city would assume ownership of the building when the program purchases it.


Property manager has committed to renovate

Pot holes are shown scattered across the old Town and Country Shopping Center's parking lot near downtown Hamilton.

• Avery’s landscaping hired for project; manager says two ‘anchor’ retailors on their way

HAMILTON - The manager of a dilapidated shopping center near downtown Hamilton has reportedly committed to repairing the property and renovating the facilities.
Hamilton Mayor Bob Page told the Hamilton City Council during a work session on Wednesday, Aug. 1, that he has spoken with  Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center manager Louise Jennings of Real Estate Southeast in Prattville, who has promised to make improvements on the site.


Opinion: We’ll believe it when we see it

The property managers of the dilapidated Town and Country Shopping Center on Highway 278 East, just beyond the intersection of highways 43 and 278, have reportedly committed to cleaning up the property in preparation for brand-name “anchor” stores. We’ll believe it when we see it.
We each councilman Gene Sanderson’s comments during a Hamilton City Council work session on Wednesday, Aug. 1: “They’ve said this before and two years later, still nothing.”


Opinion: Kids these days...

Mandye Green

If you've ever spent much time around children, you know that if you need an honest opinion, you go to them first. I worked in a daycare before I moved to Hamilton and I served in the kids ministry at my church for a few years after that and those experiences taught me a lot.

Finances given ‘good opinion’

Certified Public Accountant Aimee Gilliland presented the Hamilton City Council with its first respective financial audit since it became overseers of the municipality’s finances on Monday, July 16.

HAMILTON - Hamilton Mayor Bob Page and the Hamilton City Council received their first audit report respective to their time as overseers of the city’s finances.
The city was given a “good opinion” concerning its financial status of Fiscal Year 2017.


College hosts 40 local stakeholders

Alabama Community College System Vice Chancellor Workforce and Economic Development Jeff Lynn (left) speaks with Bevill State Community College President Dr. Kim Ennis (center) and Interim Marion County Superintendent of Education Ann West during the college’s Workforce Summit on Tuesday, July 24, at the Hamilton Campus. More than 40 local industry officials met during the summit to discuss how the college could help solve and meet workforce needs. (Writer’s note: West was named superintendent by the board on Tuesday, July 31.)

HAMILTON - More than 40 local business and industry stakeholders met with Bevill State Community College (BSCC) officials during a workforce summit.
The gathering was held on Tuesday, July 24, in the Bevill Center at the BSCC-Hamilton Campus.

Long-time Winfield restaurant severely damaged after fire

The fire that caused major damage, including structural damage, to Catfish Haven was concentrated in the rear of the restaurant, where an add-on, wooden building stood

WINFIELD - Catfish Haven, which has served local residents for 23 years, suffered significant damage from a fire on Sunday, July 29. Firefighters believe the firewas caused by electrical issues.
Local owner Linda Postell reported that the restaurant did not have insurance at the time of the incident.


Hamilton junior crowned ‘Outstanding Teen’

Hamilton High School junior Hannah Gentz, 16, was crowned Miss Northeast Alabama’s Outstanding Teen on Sunday, July 15, at Southside High School, securing her third title as “Outstanding Teen.” Gentz (center) is shown with Amy Cummings (left) and Jarrod Landers, both co-directors of the Miss Northeast Alabama's Outstanding Teen Pageant.

HAMILTON - Hamilton High School junior Hannah Gentz has won another title and a chance to compete in the Miss Alabama's Outstanding Teen scholarship pageant in March.